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Empowering Language Learners: A Critical Pedagogy across the Curriculum

Week 6: Friday, May 12, 2017, Noon-1:30pm
Yamada Language Center, McKenzie 175
Lunch will be served
Click here to register

How does working with materials in languages other than English enliven the possibilities of any course and introduce language learning in highly motivating and contextualized ways? Can proficiency in another language—say, by heritage speakers, international students, or those working towards their second-language requirement—be a deeply empowering asset for students across the disciplines at UO?

In this interactive session, we’ll learn about the CAS Renaissance award-winning work of Robert Davis and Claudia Holguín (Romance Languages) and Julie Weise (History) to bring Spanish-language materials into courses in which the primary language of instruction is English—elevating the research-based aspect of these courses and drawing students into the powerful, human stories of their course subjects through an encounter with Spanish-language vernacular texts and their authors. They have successfully employed this critical language pedagogy with students with as little as one year of college Spanish, or who emerged from several years of high school Spanish erroneously believing, “I don’t remember anything.”

We’ll practice a real activity our presenters use in class, brainstorm ways this approach could deepen learning in other contexts, and consider how CAS can support this and other innovative language pedagogies. Moreover, we’ll discuss how a more multilingual relationship to instruction at UO energizes the core liberal arts mission of the university at a time when global citizenship is being undermined as a value in U.S. public discourse and student participation in language study in declining at American colleges and universities.

Our presenters want you to know that language “mastery" isn’t a prerequisite for embarking on this exciting teaching. If your research includes materials in languages other than English you are a good candidate for this workshop.  

Robert Davis, Professor of Spanish, director of language instruction in Romance Languages
Claudia Holguín, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Director of the Spanish Heritage Language Program
Julie Weise, Associate Professor of History